Where was Jimmy Kimmel before the Oscars? Kathryn Bigelow could have used him. On Wednesday night, the late-night talk-show host gave a comic lesson in marketing when he showed this trailer for the March 19 DVD release of Zero Dark Thirty that re-positions the movie as a romantic comedy instead of a pro-torture CIA procedural. All it takes is a little voiceover magic and some creative editing to depict Jessica Chastain as a workaholic in search of "the man of her dreams." more »
According to the Academy Award pundits and even the Nate Silver-style numbers crunchers, Jennifer Lawrence will win the Best Actress Oscar on Sunday, but don't start engraving her name just yet. Along with the recent surge — at least in publicity — for Emmanuelle Riva, another group of in-the-know moviegoers is predicting that Zero Dark Thirty star Jessica Chastain will bring home the little gold man: New York City taxi riders.
Part two of Zach Galifianakis' Oscar edition of Between Two Ferns is out, and it manages to top part one. The best line of the segment is when Galifianakis asks Sally Field about the 25 pounds for her role in Lincoln. "How'd you do that, eat Anne Hathaway?" he says. After hearing that, I'll think twice before ever asking another actor about the dramatic weight loss or gain they achieved for a role. more »
The box office has spoken! Jessica Chastain scored the top two weekend spots over Arnold Schwarzenegger (The Last Stand) and the double-whammy of Mark Wahlberg and Russell Crowe (Broken City) as the Guillermo del Toro-produced fantasy horror Mama scored a #1 debut with $28.1 million and Zero Dark Thirty stepped into second place. (Oscar rival Jennifer Lawrence didn't come out so bad herself as Silver Linings Playbook expanded to #3 in wide release the same weekend she tenderly slammed her fellow Best Actress contenders on Saturday Night Live.) More power to the ladies! But where, oh where, did Arnold land in his big action comeback?
In Tree of Life, Jessica Chastain played a mother who could float. In Mama, she's attacked by one. Chastain shot this dignified little thriller in fall 2011 during the stretch when literally every arthouse theater played at least two of her pictures—between Tree, Coriolanus, The Help, Take Shelter, Texas Killing Fields and The Debt, she was indie cinema's inescapable new queen. Universal intended to release the Guillermo del Toro-produced Mama last October, but shelved it until the week after Chastain was nominated for an Oscar for Zero Dark Thirty. Is this her reputation-besmirching Norbit? Pshaw — for my money, it's her best performance yet.
On the heels of this morning's surprising and not-so-surprising Oscar nominations, the Broadcast Film Critics Association handed their Critics Choice Awards to a rather familiar bunch as Lincoln, Silver Linings Playbook, Argo, Zero Dark Thirty, and Skyfall nabbed multiple major honors. In fact, the BFCA, an organization comprised of TV, radio, and online journalists, spread the love around to cover just about every Oscar favorite and token consolation prize there is. Take your bow, Cloud Atlas!
Even as the U.S. Senate continues to inquire about what it says are misrepresentations of the use of torture in the successful hunt for Al Qaeda mastermind Osama Bin Laden in 2011, filmmakers Kathryn Bigelow and Mark Boal defended their Oscar hopeful Zero Dark Thirty at the New York Film Critics Circle Monday night.
Even as Zero Dark Thirty has come under fire by key Senators criticizing its depiction of torture in the hunt for Al Qaeda leader Osama Bin Laden, the film shrugged off the pressure, at least at the box office, in its initial limited roll out Wednesday.
[Related: Golden Globes Unveil 70th Edition Nominees]
The Sony release opted for a specialty-style roll-out Wednesday, opening in limited locations in New York and Los Angeles before it heads wide January 11, not so coincidentally, the day after Oscar nominations are unveiled. The pic, which re-teams Oscar-winning director Kathryn Bigelow and writer-producer Mark Boal (The Hurt Locker), scored the biggest Wednesday limited opening ever (without a Disney-style stage show), according to Deadline.com. The film starring Jessica Chastain grossed a tremendous $124,848 in one day from just five theaters giving it a stellar mid-week $24,969 average.
The numbers outstrip the likes of other Wednesday openers American Beauty which took in $73K with six theaters and Little Miss Sunshine with $66K from 7 runs.
The film has been an early darling for critics with prestige organizations including the New York Film Critics Circle, the Chicago Film Critics Association and the National Board of Review giving the two-and-a-half-hour-plus feature its choice for Best Film of 2012. It also received four Golden Globe noms, including Best Motion Picture, Drama though others such as Lincoln, Django Unchained and Les Misérables scored more.
Still, Zero Dark Thirty is expected to be a heavy-hitter come Oscar nomination morning. Some, however, have begun to speculate whether the percolating controversy over the film's perceived suggestions that water-boarding, extreme isolation and other techniques were useful in ultimately locating Bin Laden and how that may affect Academy voters should the story hold staying power in the headlines.
A report from A.P. yesterday said that former Vietnam War-era P.O.W. Senator John McCain slammed the film after viewing a screener earlier this week and BBC reports that McCain and two other Senate colleagues made their objections official in a letter to the head of Sony Pictures Entertainment.
The letter said the pic is "perpetuating the myth that torture is effective" and that "the fundamental problem is that people who see Zero Dark Thirty will believe that the events it portrays are facts." It goes on to say, "the film therefore has the potential to shape American public opinion in a disturbing and misleading manner," and that the "use of torture in the fight against terrorism did severe damage to America's values and standing that cannot be justified or expunged."
Also signing the letter, which was made public, were Senators Dianne Feinstein and Carl Levin, all of whom are members of the Senate Intelligence committee.
Bigelow has said that her film depicts a "variety of controversial practices and intelligence methods." She and Boal have also indicated their distaste for torture in statements last week.
The group gave Zero Dark Thirty its top Best Picture and Best Director prizes in addition to Best Actress for Jessica Chastain, while Lincoln's Daniel Day-Lewis took Best Actor with the Chicago Film Critics Association Monday.
The wins follow:
Best Picture: Zero Dark Thirty
Best Director: Kathryn Bigelow, Zero Dark Thirty
Best Actor: Daniel Day-Lewis, Lincoln
Best Actress: Jessica Chastain, Zero Dark Thirty
Best Supporting Actor: Phillip Seymour Hoffman, The Master
Best Supporting Actress: Amy Adams, The Master
Best Original Screenplay: Zero Dark Thirty by Mark Boal
Best Adapted Screenplay: Lincoln by Tony Kushner
Best Foreign Language Film: Amour
Best Documentary: The Invisible War
Best Animated Feature: ParaNorman
Best Cinematography: Mihai Milaimare Jr., The Master
Best Original Score: Jonny Greenwood, The Master
Best Art Direction: Moonrise Kingdom
Best Editing: William Goldenberg & Dylan Tichenor, Zero Dark Thirty
Most Promising Performer: Quvenzhané Wallis, Beasts of the Southern Wild
Most Promising Filmmaker: Benh Zeitlin, Beasts of the Southern Wild
"Can I be honest with you? I'm bad news. I'm not your friend. I'm not going to help you - I'm going to break you. Any questions?" are the haunting words that open the latest Zero Dark Thirty trailer spoken by actor Jason Clarke who plays Dan, a CIA interrogator.
His character is at the center of a mini-controversy that broke this week by critics of the film by Oscar-winning director Kathryn Bigelow who say it justifies the U.S.'s use of water-boarding and other "enhanced interrogation" techniques — considered torture by many &mdash' as useful tools in the eventual successful hunt for Al Qaeda leader Osama Bin Laden.
The trailer depicts the worldwide hunt from the boardrooms of the CIA in Washington, Guantanamo Bay in Cuba and eventually Afghanistan and Pakistan. Jessica Chastain, who has received multiple critics awards and nominations so far, including a Golden Globe nomination yesterday, is the secret operative at the center of the hunt. The trailer hints at the slick telling of the story and ends with what sounds like a child's choir singing a haunting version of Metallica's "Nothing Else Matters."
Zero Dark Thirty Synopsis:
For a decade, an elite team of intelligence and military operatives, working in secret across the globe, devoted themselves to a single goal: to find and eliminate Osama bin Laden. Zero Dark Thirty reunites the Oscar-winning team of director-producer Kathryn Bigelow and writer-producer Mark Boal (The Hurt Locker) for the story of history's greatest manhunt for the world's most dangerous man.
Maya is staying undercover. At a press conference for Zero Dark Thirty in New York on Tuesday, the film's star Jessica Chastain, who plays the indefatigable CIA operative that tracks down Osama bin Laden said she never met the agent who inspired her role. more »
Kathryn Bigelow's angular thriller Zero Dark Thirty begins and ends with events that have been seared into public memory — the attacks on September 11, 2001 and the death of Osama bin Laden on May 2, 2011 in Abbottabad, Pakistan, two incidents that bookended a decade in which America's sense of security and place in the world were radically shaken. more »
Jessica Chastain is riding a huge wave of Best Actress buzz this week for Katherine Bigelow's Zero Dark Thirty, but let's not forget the memorable impression she made earlier this year as a bootlegger's moll in John Hillcoat's brutal period drama Lawless. See Chastain, Shia LaBeouf, Tom Hardy, and the Lawless gang channel Depression-era chic in Movieline's exclusive set of never-before-released photos from the Lawless set.
Running a dense two hours thirty, before credits, Zero Dark Thirty reunites director Kathryn Bigelow with reporter-turned-scenarist Mark Boal in re-creating the hunt for Osama bin Laden, rejecting nearly every cliche one might expect from a Hollywood treatment of the subject. Far more ambitious than The Hurt Locker, yet nowhere near so tripwire-tense, this procedure-driven, decade-spanning docudrama nevertheless rivets for most of its running time by focusing on how one female CIA agent with a far-out hunch was instrumental in bringing down America's most wanted fugitive. Spinning the pic as a thriller, Sony could beat the 9/11-movie curse when the Dec. 19 limited release goes wide in January. more »